This dream could now become reality, due to our country's new Film Law, which comes into force starting today. Its objective is to put Panama on the map of massive cinematographic productions.
Ariadne Benedetti, director of the Panama Cinema Commission, told Ey! that, after a very long process, they finally passed the law that provides incentives for international producers to come shoot in this country.
Benedetti confirmed that, with the passage of this law, the course of filmmaking will be open to all who are interested in studying this specialty.
The Commission director was very clear and emphasized that she will never again go through the process of creating a law, as it has been difficult work; nevertheless, she is sure that she will be satisfied by the results.
It is noteworthy that in our country a Film Commission will be created. "It will be an organism responsible for executing policies of promotion, investment and marketing of the films, which must first meet a series of requirements in order to obtain financing by this law," explained Benedetti.
Ariadne said that the first production to be 100% recorded in Panama and that is eagerly awaited will be "Hands of Stone", a film that relates the life of "Hands of Stone" Durán.
This movie will be shot in sites where Roberto Durán spent his youth and when he turned into a boxing legend.
Benedetti pointed out that the production, which will be directed by the Venezuelan Jonathan Jakubowicz, costs $12 million, but the government will only give three million. It was also explained that the preproduction shooting will begin in October. "Many are confused about the pre-production and production stages. Look, the preproduction will happen in the months of October and November, while final shooting will be in December, January and February."
In the Film Festival
"Hands of Stone" will be not only show at important festivals like Cannes, but it will have its debut in the land of "Hands of Stone" himself.
At the second Panama Film Festival, to be held from February 11 to 17, 2013, there will be major productions.
The director of the Commission said that if the movie of Durán's life, played by Gael García Bernal, has not wrapped up shooting before the Film Festival in 2013, then a brief short of the film will be shown to not leave attendees in the dark about the movie.
Message to the President
The film's shooting in Panama inspired a feeling of gratitude from Usher.
The singer of the hit song "Scream" and the artist who will act as the American boxer Sugar Ray Leonard in the film, sent a video to the President of the Republic, Ricardo Martinelli, as described by Benedetti.
"He sent a video thanking him for permitting the movie to be filmed only in Panama. He is very excited about this great project, so much so that he wants to travel here and start shooting right away," explained the film director.
It is important to note that actors like Robert De Niro, Ana de Armas, Al Pacino and other Hollywood personalities who will act in "Hands of Stone" sent signed letters saying that they are committed to forming part of this film and doing their best.
When asked about the supposed filming in Panama of "Our Lady of the Stadiums," a film that would star Salma Hayek, the director knew nothing of the matter. "I have no idea about that movie, otherwise I would gladly give you details."